Edmonds Eagles 2017-2018

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Terry O

Active Member
#21
Nice sequence, Bill. Not easy to do, at least for me. What was your exposure comp settings? As a general rule, I use -2/3 (or -3/4) based on the suggestion of a pro I took a field class from a few years ago.

Terry
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#22
Nice sequence, Bill. Not easy to do, at least for me. What was your exposure comp settings? As a general rule, I use -2/3 (or -3/4) based on the suggestion of a pro I took a field class from a few years ago.

Terry
While I often shoot eagles using negative exposure compensation, I took Monday's photos "straight on" due to the overcast. For some reason the ones taken with the 7DII + 500L + 1.4x teleconverter came out a little overexposed, so I darkened them using the Windows photo processing program.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#23
Thursday afternoon (1-11-18) my son and I noticed a lot of herons flying over the marina. I suspected one of the Pt. Edwards eagles had stirred them up. One of the eagles flew in from the Sound and past us as we were walking out to the fishing pier.

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One perched on a mast while the other was on the family tree at the top of Pine. St.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#24
Last Saturday (1-27-18) one of the Pt. Edwards eagles was perched in the nest tree.....
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while the other was perched in the sentry tree.
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Later from the marsh I spotted one landing on their observation tree at the top of Pine St. above the new apartments.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#25
The Pt. Edwards eagles make their rounds of the waterfront come rain or come shine, but I prefer to photograph them in sunshine. Friday morning (2-9-18) one flew in and landed on its perch by the ferry. It later made a pass over Brackett's Landing South before returning to its perch.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#26
My son and I were driving around Pt. Edwards in search of the resident eagle pair when I spotted both of them in the sentry tree near their nest. I grabbed a few shots with the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.
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What looked like a first year juvie flew high overhead. It was the second time that day I had seen the juvie in the area. It could be one of the three eaglets that fledged in the area in 2017.
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I ran back to the pickup and pulled out the 7DII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC. I did not grab the tripod as I thought I could rest the lens on the large hedge bordering the sidewalk. One of the eagles took off as I was setting up up the lens and I knew the second eagle would soon follow.

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I saw the second bird take off and just started snapping away without trying to frame the shots.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#28
We drove down to Sunset Ave. where I got some grab shots of what I believe were the Hutt Park pair. I didn't know that one was trying to steal the other's fish until I looked at the photos on the computer.

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Terry O

Active Member
#29
Nice shots of the pair taking off from the sentry tree, Bill - nice you could brace the 500 on something. How much of a crop were these?

Terry
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#30
I photographed several eagles on Valentine's Day (2-14-18).

Crows helped me spot both members of what I believe were the Hutt Park pair. One was in the trees near the Shell Creek spit.
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While the other was in a tree off Sunset Ave.
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The Pt. Edwards eagles were soaring in the afternoon updrafts.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#31
Thursday afternoon (2-22-18) the Lake Ballinger pair were perched on their spar on the golf course next to the lake in Mountlake Terrace.
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What looked like a third year eagle stirred up Brant as it flew north over Sunset Ave. in Edmonds.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#32
The first day of March was an all eagle day for me.

This week I have been seeing a second year juvie flying over Puget Sound just off Sunset Ave. Thursday I caught up with it perched in the raptor tree on the fish hatchery grounds. My best angle turned out to be at the bottom of Pine St. opposite the Nature Garden, where I set up my super telephoto combo of the 7DII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC + tripod.
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I lugged the super telephoto combo up the hill and set up on the walkway by the Pt. Edwards condos. The angle was not as as good as the bottom of the hill, but I did catch the juvie taking off. It circled Edmonds along with the red-tailed hawk that has been hanging out in the trees bordering the east end of the marsh.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#33
Next stop was the tree at the top of Pine St. where the Pt. Edwards pair likes to perch. Out with the super telephoto combo once again along with lawn chairs and a wireless remote shutter release. Rather than setting up close to the tree, I set up farther south in order to get a flatter viewing angle. Exposure settings were difficult due to the sunlight coming in at a low angle and reflecting off the eagles' white head and tail feathers.

The pair kept me entertained with takeoffs,
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landings,
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and lots screeching.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#34
Last stop was the marina. I left the super telephoto combo in the pickup and just took the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom with a 1.4x TC tucked in my pocket "just in case." As a rule I don't use the TC with the 100-400 zoom as it slows down the auto focus too much.

A gull flying past the fishing pier dropped a large fish that it was carrying in its mouth. This attracted one of the Pt. Edwards eagles, which landed on the marina breakwater opposite the fishing pier.
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The eagle flew a little farther south and posed for a publicity shot for the Port of Edmonds. Its mate, still perched on the tree at the top of Pine St., is barely visible in the upper left corner above the Pt. Edwards condos. This gives you an idea of an eagle's eyesight if it saw the gull carrying the fish from that distance.

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A Norway rat crawling along the breakwater caught the eagle's attention, but it did not go after the rodent.
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A pelagic cormorant trying to swallow a large fish also attracted the eagle's attention. It flew past the fishing pier, but the cormorant dove before the eagle could.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#35
As I was about to leave, the eagle dove for something south of pier. This is where I could have used my super telephoto combo.

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Lots of photographers with big lenses were on the pier that afternoon as it was sunny and warm with no wind.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#36
A friend who lives in the Pt. Edwards condos told me the resident pair of eagles have been spending time in their nest. From past experience I believe it is too early for eggs, but eagles don't read calendars, not even the ones I made for Christmas presents using their photos.

I checked out the nest Thursday afternoon and found one of the eagles perched above it. It looked as though it wanted to discuss modeling fees for the use of its images in my calendars.

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The other eagle was perched in the family tree down the street above the new condos.

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It was still there when I drove to the marsh.

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A little while later the eagle was joined on the tree by its mate. A juvie flew in and perched on the nearby raptor tree at the fish hatchery grounds. I could not photograph any of this as I was talking on my cell phone with my brother.
I finally gave the phone to my son and told him to talk to his uncle so I could take some grab shots when the juvie left the raptor tree and flew over town.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#37
At least one juvenile bald eagle has spent the winter in the area. I suspect it is a first year bird from the class of 2017 hatchlings.

Last Wednesday (3-28-18) something flushed a large flock of Brant at the Shell Creek spit.

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Whenever that happens, I look for an eagle. Sure enough, a juvie flew south over the Sound past Sunset Ave. Back lighting made for difficult shots.

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A few minutes later the evil minions of the Dark Lord alerted me to one landing in the trees north of Sunset Ave. I don't know if it was a second juvie or if the first one had doubled back without my seeing it.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#38
I was at the marsh Friday (3-30-18) when gulls over at the marina began making their distress calls that alerts everyone to the presence of an eagle. I call it my eagle early warning system. Looking west, I spotted a juvie flying south off the marina. My photos of the bird were marginal at best, but when I looked at them on the computer at home, I discovered some photo-bombing swallows in the shots.

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BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#39
While I often shoot eagles using negative exposure compensation, I took Monday's photos "straight on" due to the overcast. For some reason the ones taken with the 7DII + 500L + 1.4x teleconverter came out a little overexposed, so I darkened them using the Windows photo processing program.
Eagles are an extremely challenging subject to get right, especially in bright sun. The head is so bright white, you can easily lose all detail. If you dial it down enough to bring out feather details in the head, then you start losing detail in the dark body feathers. You need a camera with a good dynamic range. You also have a pretty narrow window, on my camera I have a range of about 2/3 stops that's in the "Sweet zone" (usually about 1/3 to 2/3 stops under exposed, and normally I'm 1/3 stop over. Anywhere outside that small range and there's detail loss on one side or the other.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#40
When photographing eagles in sunny conditions, Terry and I routinely start at -1/3 exposure compensation, then look at our photos so see where to go from there.
 


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